Jeffrey Roden, electric bass – Seeds of Happiness – New Albion

by | Jan 22, 2007 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Jeffrey Roden, electric bass – Seeds of Happiness – New Albion Records NA 133, 66:00 ****:

I’m struggling to decide in what section this review should appear as I’m writing it.  Seem to be faced with such decisions more frequently lately.  Roden plays a Fender precision bass only, and though some of the tracks are overdubbed, there is no looping and no synthesizers or other tricks used. While the bass guitar is usually associated with rock, Roden’s work is closer to contemporary chamber music. I would characterize this as meditative/introspective jazz-influenced New Age improvisations for electric bass.  One reviewer called it “ambient meets intellectual jazz.” Some years ago there was a New Age jazz album which sounded like the rhythm section of Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way sessions but without Miles or any front line at all. You could sort of conjure up the upper melodic line in your mind while listening, and the same is true of Seeds of Happiness. It can be a fascinating exercise.

Most of the 26 tracks here are extremely short – under three minutes, and a number of them under two minutes. Many of the their titles reflect the nature of the music: Shimmering, Clouds like choirs, The nature of solitude, Reflections of a small room.  The bass sounds are low but not that low, and after a few tracks one gets into the unique range of tones and really doesn’t suspect anything is missing. And there’s a lot more depth here musically and harmonically than most New Age CDs.

 – John Sunier

Related Reviews
Logo Pure Pleasure
Logo Apollo's Fire
Logo Crystal Records Sidebar 300 ms
Logo Jazz Detective Deep Digs Animated 01
La Clave – Acoustic Sounds

La Clave – Acoustic Sounds

Verve/Universal Music Group releases a re-mastered vinyl of an obscure, but highly entertaining 70’s album. 

La Clave – Acoustic Sounds

La Clave – Acoustic Sounds

Verve/Universal Music Group releases a re-mastered vinyl of an obscure, but highly entertaining 70’s album.